As we lay in bed, the Fat One stirred. I stretched my front legs out, yawned, and tried to pull Momma close to me. But my paws felt only air. I opened my eyes in surprise and then remembered.
Momma was at the vet, being prepared to have her emergency operation.
The Fat One sat up, stretched, and silently gave me pets and strokes, but his face was sad and worried. I followed him into the kitchen. He made my breakfast and set it down. As I devoured my meal, he fed the Beast That Makes Brown Pee. Soon, it was happily huffing and puffing as it peed into the glass jug below it. It was the only one happy.
The Fat One usually keeps his phone near him, but today he kept it even closer. He stared at it as if it was about to do something. But it didn’t.
It seems to have turned cold outside. It’s blustery and flakes of hard water were blowing around. House was breathing out warm air. The Fat One sat at the kitchen table and rolled one of his cigars. When he was done, he got up and walked to the front door with me in tow. He opened it and we went out onto the porch.
The General came out of his house and trotted over to me with an anxious look on his face. “We haven’t heard anything yet, sir.” I said, guessing the question. The General looked down sadly and went over to the Fat One in his green chair for his pets and strokes.
I walked over to the edge of the porch and sat staring out into the yard. After a few moments, the General joined me and sat without a word. We both said nothing, each in his own thoughts.
In a while, the Fat One finished his cigar. He set the butt in the little white dish on the white table. He poured some of the brown pee in his cup onto it. It sizzled and grew quiet. The Fat One stood and went back inside House. I silently followed him.
I stopped in the middle of the living room as the Fat One continued into the Big Room and sat in his chair. He set his phone to the left of his keyboard.
I began searching through House for Momma. I knew she wasn’t there but looking for her made me feel better. Like I was doing something. Maybe looking for her would bring her home faster.
When I was done, I walked to the Big Room. I glanced over at my sunny spot. But being cloudy, there was no sun. I trotted over to the Fat One’s chair and meowed to be picked up. I wanted to be close to him. He glanced down at me and reaching, picked me up and set me in his lap.
Usually, when the Fat One sits in his chair, he works busily away. But today, he just half-heartedly pushed his mouse around. He constantly glanced at his phone.
It stayed this way for a very long time. Then the Fat One’s phone began to ring. He hurriedly tried to pick it up, but it slipped through his fingers. He bobbled it in the air and it fell to the floor.
He bent over to get it, but now he was squishing me. I struggled to squeeze out from between his ample belly and lap. Free, I jumped onto the floor and stared back at him. He picked the phone up but dropped it again. Swearing profusely, he grabbed it with both hands, touched it with one and held it to his left ear.
“Hello?!” he asked urgently and listened. “Yes.” he said quietly and paused to listen. Then he slumped back in his chair and cried out, “Oh, thank god!”. He gushed in relief, “I’ve been so worried. When can I come get her?”. He listened some more. “Right! I’ll see you then!” he declared, and set his phone down.
He sat up and pumped his right fist in the air as he yelled, “YES! YES! YES!”. He turned and looked at me with wet eyes and cried, “Nancy is going to be ok, Tiddles! SHE’S GOING TO BE OK!”.
My eyes grew wide, and I meowed back at the Fat One in joy, “YAY! Hurray for MOMMA!”. The Fat One reached down, picked me up and held me close to him as he spun us around in his chair. I was overcome with relief and happiness.
The Fat One put me back on the floor, and I sat beaming at him. “I can get her in a bit.” he began, “But we need to make a little recovery room for her!”.
He stood up and scurried out of the Big Room with a purpose. Not long later, he came back in carrying Momma’s food dish and two of those rectangular shaped cloths he uses to dry off after bathing himself. He took one of the cloths and laid it out next to the wall by our day bed. He put Momma’s food dish on it.
He went back into the kitchen, and I heard the faucet the running. He came back in the Big Room carefully carrying a bowl. He set it next to the Momma’s food dish. It had water in it.
Next, he went into the back room. I heard him scrounging around for something. Then I heard the sound of litter being poured out. Soon, he came back carrying the blue litter box for kittens. One side is lower than the rest, so it is easy to get in and out of. I’d had to use it after my operation when I had those cursed sticks on my back left leg.
Setting it down, he placed the other rectangular cloth in front of the right French door to the deck. Finally, he set the litter box on the cloth. He stood up, surveyed his work, and nodded in satisfaction. He looked at his phone.
“I have just enough time to go to the store before I get her.” he muttered to himself. He walked out of the Big Room. I heard him in the bedroom changing his clothes. I trotted out of the Big Room to join him in the bedroom. But I’d gotten only as far as the kitchen when he appeared in his “going out” clothes.
“I’m going to go get her now, Tiddles!” he said joyfully, “She’ll be home soon!”. With that, he went out the back door. In a minute, he came back in. “Dammit! I almost forgot the carrier!” he laughed. He trotted into the back room and came back with the carrier. He trotted out the back door. I heard his white box on wheels start, backup, and go off down the driveway.
I strolled back into the Big Room and inspected everything the Fat One had done. I wanted it all just right for Momma. Seeing all was ok, I laid on the floor and began grooming myself so I looked my best for Momma!
Then I waited. And waited. And waited. Time seemed to stand still. Would they never get home?
But then I heard the sound I’d been hoping for. The Fat One’s box on wheels pulled into the driveway. I ran to the window by the Fat One’s desk, stood on my hind legs and looked out. The Fat One got out with a big smile on his face and opened the back door on his side.
As he did this, I saw the General’s head appear around the side of House. He intently watched the Fat One.
The Fat One gently took the carrier out. He reached back into the box and grabbed a white plastic bag. He shut the door with his butt and carefully went to the back door. I dropped onto all four feet and scampered into the kitchen. The Fat One was just inside. I could see Momma in the carrier!
“Momma! Momma!” I cried as I trotted alongside the Fat One as we headed for the Big Room, “Momma!”.
We went into the Big Room to our day bed and the Fat One gently sat the carrier on the floor. He opened it, reached in and cautiously scooped Momma up and lifted her out. With care, he placed her on the Magical Pad That Makes Warm in the daybed.
Momma had the same rectangular white pads and stretchy tape wrapped around her I had when I got my operation. She lay there on her side with her head slowly swaying back and forth. Her eyes seemed glazed over and unfocused.
“Momma?” I asked worriedly.
She looked at me, and her eyes focused a little. Stretching out her front legs with paws out she cried, “Oh my beautimous boy! Come to your momma, my handsome Toodles!”.
I drew my head back, and in concern I stared at the Fat One. “She’s still a little loopy from her pain meds. It will wear off. You were the same way when you got stung by the bumblebee.” (Ed. note: See #94 – Ouch!)
Mind at ease, I rushed over to Momma and hugged her while licking the top of her head. Momma giggled. I felt so relieved to have her home!
The Fat One reached into the white plastic bag and pulled out a container of the extra-special treats like those that Sandy Claws had brought us. He opened the container and their wonderous smell made my mouth start to water. Momma sniffed at the air.
The Fat One put a few in Momma’s dish. “Are you hungry, Nancy?” he asked as he carefully picked Momma up and sat her by her dish. Momma swayed back and forth. The Fat One tenderly placed his hands on her back to steady her. She ate a few of the treats and turned her head towards the water dish. “Are you thirsty?” the Fat One asked as he carefully positioned her in front of the water.
Momma bent down and lapped at the water. She stopped, turned her head to me, and said, “Toodles, tell House to stop spinning around. It’s making me dizzy!”.
“Do you need to use the litter box, too?” the Fat One asked. Momma shook her head “no”. “Ok.” the Fat One replied, “Then let’s put you back in bed.” He lifted Momma up and laid her back in our day bed. I went to the other side, climbed in and lay with my legs around her. I purred while I groomed her. The Fat One softly stroked her sides. Momma put her head down and went to sleep.
We stayed like this for a while. Finally, the Fat One stood up and went back to his desk. But he kept looking over at us every little bit. In time, he stood and walked out of the Big Room. I heard him rolling one of his stinker cigars. I carefully slipped out of the daybed and trotted to the front door and patiently waited for the Fat One. I needed to tell the General that Momma was going to be ok.
Finished, the Fat One came over and opened the door. He started as we saw the General sitting smack dab in front of the doorway. “Well, Sam!” the Fat One exclaimed in surprise, gingerly stepping over him. The General stared at me and demanded in concern, “How is she?”.
“She’s fine, sir!” I happily reported, “She’s going to be ok!”.
The General visibly relaxed. “So glad to hear it!” he said in relief.
“Would you like to see her?” I offered.
The General thought a bit, looked at the Fat One, and eagerly said, “Yes!”.
“Follow me!” I replied and turned towards the Big Room. The General came inside. “Be good, Sam!” the Fat One called after us.
I led the General into the Big Room and over to Momma. He stood looking at her as she slept. He bent down and gave her a love lick on the head. Momma stirred, opened her eyes, and looked at him in delight. “Oh, Noogies! You came to visit me!” she said.
The General got a concerned look on his face. He turned to me questioningly. “She’s still a little loopy from her pain meds. It will wear off. I was the same way when I got stung by a bumblebee.” I sagely explained, “She’s calling me Toodles.”.
The General climbed into the daybed and laid down behind Momma. He put his legs around her and pulled her close while licking her head. Momma began to purr loudly. I wanted to be close to Momma, too. So, I laid down on the side of the bed closest to Momma. It squished down under my weight as I put my legs around Momma and groomed her neck and shoulders while purring.
Healing licks and purrs were what Momma needed. And with them from the General AND me, she’d be better in no time!
I heard the Fat One come back into the living room and pull the front door partly closed. But I didn’t hear it click shut. He came in the Big Room and sat in his chair. At the sight of him and the sound of the door, the General got very tense. It looked like he was going to flee.
The Fat One looked at him and soothingly said, “It’s ok, Sam. The door is not shut. You can leave when you want to.”. The General relaxed and went back to grooming Momma.
“How lucky I am to have my loved ones all around me!” Momma happily purred. “I’ve got my handsome Toodles, my dashing Noogies…” she paused for a moment and then gushed, “And the caring Fart One!”.
The General and I lifted our heads, looked at each other and burst out laughing. The Fart One!
“Are you two laughing at me?” Momma demanded to know, “I have a mind to put you both in your place! But… I’m so… sleepy.” Momma put her head down and fell asleep.
We lay like that for the rest of the afternoon. House exhaled warm air several times. Each time, the Fat One winced. He exclaimed at one point, “I can’t believe I’m leaving my front door cracked so my senior, one-eyed, outside, feral cat can visit his senior indoor sick girlfriend without being stressed. I have become a crazy cat guy!”.
As it got dark, the Fat One stood up and called to the General, “Ok, Sam. it’s suppertime. You can visit Nancy more tomorrow.”.
The General reluctantly stood up, stretched, and trotted out of the Big Room. The Fat One followed him. I heard the front door closed. Next, I heard crunchies being poured into my dish. I quietly stood up and trotted out to the kitchen. Momma was still snoozing.
I wolfed down my supper so I could go back to Momma. With the General outside, I lay behind her and held her. She let out a happy mew and pushed back against me.
Later that evening, the Fat One got up from his chair and headed towards the bedroom. He was going to bed, but I was staying with Momma!
But I was wrong! The Fat One came back in carrying a long, thin, rolled-up mattress and two pillows. He came over to us and unrolled the mattress flat on the floor. He dropped the pillows at the head of the mattress. He went over to the wall and turned the lights off. In the darkness, he sat on the mattress and laid down with his head on the pillows. All of us drifted off to sleep.
In the middle of the night, I woke up. I opened my eyes, and, in the darkness, I could see the Fat One laying on his side facing Momma and me. His head was resting on the pillows, but his eyes were open.
He was staring at Momma as she quietly snored. He was smiling.
PS Photograph for illustrative purposes only.